The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Mamata sticks to Assembly-boycott gun

Her party legislators may not be willing to let go of their perks, but Trinamul Congress chairperson Mamata Banerjee is in no mood to listen.

Undeterred by the reluctance of the legislators to forego their amenities in response to her call to boycott the Assembly’s budget session, Mamata on Saturday decided to send a letter to Speaker Hashim Abdul Halim to convey the party’s decision to skip all benefits in protest to the “farce in the name of the panchayat polls”.

“Our MLAs will not draw any kind of salary, travelling and daily allowances during this period. They will neither attend the House committee meetings, nor submit their telephone bills for reimbursement. They will also not avail of railway coupons for journeys,” Mamata told reporters at the party office on Saturday afternoon.

During the day, the Trinamul leader formed a five-member committee, comprising Pankaj Banerjee, mayor Subrata Mukherjee, Sovandeb Chattopadhyay, Saugata Ray and Kalyan Banerjee, to oversee implementation of the party’s Assembly boycott decision.

Asked why she was boycotting the Assembly after participating in the elections, Mamata said: “The CPM has unleashed a reign of terror under the chief minister’s leadership and the Opposition parties are at his mercy.” The party will observe a bandh at Bagda, in North 24-Parganas, on Monday and another bandh in the entire Bagda-Gaighata-Bongaon stretch on Tuesday, she said.

Expressing concern over the continuing post-poll violence, Mamata said a team of Trinamul legislators would visit Sagar, in South 24-Parganas, where the CPM cadre had allegedly launched an offensive against Trinamul workers after the declaration of the panchayat results.

State CPM secretary Anil Biswas described the Trinamul decision to boycott the Assembly session as “an internal matter of the party”. “It will take them further away from the people,” Biswas said.

Party worker killed: Manoj Jha, a criminal from Benachity, in Durgapur, was arrested on Friday night on charges of murder. He, along with an accomplice, allegedly killed Sailen Giri, 24, a CPM cadre, while he was returning from the party office on Thursday night. Police said the two robbers had tried to snatch Giri’s belongings when he was on his way home. One of the men shot him from a very close range.

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